The Austrian Wiener Zeitung newspaper has written that the diagnosis regarding Muslims in Germany by Sarrazin, author of the book “Germany Destroying Itself” have been proven wrong. Former SPD politician and removed member of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank Sarrazin had claimed that in his book, he had for the first time published facts and figures about the integration problems of Muslims and that he had openly expressed what was wrong. Sarrazin, an expert in economics, had commented “it is true that I support claims in my book regarding the integration problems of Muslim immigrants in Europe with statistics”, regarding his book which was a best seller in Germany in 2010, the 16th edition of which is in print and 1.2 million copies of which have so far been sent to booksellers.
According to Sarrazin no one had “yet proven that I have made a significant error”. Political and social scientist Naika Foroutan has published a very important analysis. Along with colleagues from the Berlin Humboldt University, Foroutan has compared the findings of Sarrazin with statistics derived from a study to gather comprehensive evidence regarding the German population carried out in 2008 and 2009 and with a survey of Muslims living in Germany carried out by 20 German research institutions. According to Wiener Zeitung’s report, the noteworthy conclusions of the study are as follows: Sarrazin claimed that the educational level of Muslims in living in Germany is not improving. In truth, 42.4 per cent of German citizens of Turkish origin have better educational qualifications than their parents.
While approximately 3 per cent of the first generation of Turkish guest workers completed a form of higher education, this proportion has risen to 22.4 per cent in the current young generation. The group portrayed by Thilo Sarrazin as very inadequate for learning has recorded an 800 per cent rise in educational level. The PISA test which Sarrazin makes a lot of use of also concludes that since the year 2000 no significant increase in the knowledge of non-immigrant young people is to be seen, whereas there have been “significant improvements” in youths of immigrant background.
According to the Wiener Zeitung’s data, all other studies named show that the motivation for success in immigrant families is higher than in non-immigrant families. A representative survey carried out by Mannheim University shows that whereas 80 per cent of children from Turkish families desire to complete high school, the figure is 74 per cent for non-immigrant families’ children. What was true in Sarrazin’s thesis had already been known before he came up with it. Most Muslim immigrants come from areas in eastern Turkey which have had low access to education and it must not be forgotten that they were brought there in the first place to function as manual labour under the title “guest worker”. The main thesis of Sarrazin that these people are genetically indisposed to rise is still invalid. On the contrary, the children of Turkish families which enjoy equal social opportunities tend on general to pick the more difficult fields of education.
An educational problem which is specific to Muslims has not been identified. Of all Christians of immigrant origin, 34.9 per cent have received higher education. The same figure is 32.9 per cent for those of Sunni origin and 43.5 per cent for Shiite origin. Sarrazin goes much further when he claims the following: “30 per cent of immigrant Muslims in Germany have not completed any school and only 14 per cent have graduated from high school”. According to the micro population samples of the German Statistics Institution, the proportion of those who have not graduated from any school is 13.5 per cent. Good knowledge of German also increases clearly from the first generation of Turkish immigrants to the second. The proportion of those with good knowledge of German rises from 34.9 per cent to 40 per cent in women and from 58.4 per cent to 83.5 per cent in men. According to a 2009 study, there is a significant fall in the proportion of women wearing headscarves from the first generation to the second. According to the same study, 70 per cent of Muslim women have never worn a headscarf.
Of those women who do wear headscarves, 51.1 per cent say they have strong friendly relations with Germans, while 63.6 per cent say they do not fell a strong attachment to Germany. It is also to be seen that Sarrazin, who claims that “20 per cent of violent acts in Berlin are being perpetuated by 1,000 Turkish and Arabic youths” was also clearly wrong about this. The Chief of Police for Berlin mentions a criminality rate of 8.7 per cent. Sarrazin has done a half-finished job and turned correlations between variables into cause-effect relations. In such a case, how is one to evaluate Sarrazin’s book in the light of the data collected and conveyed by the Wiener Zeitung? One would expect that economics expert Sarrazin would have a head for numbers.
We should assume that Sarrazin can interpret statistics. Could it be that Sarrazin consciously manipulated the figures? Could Sarrazin have been misled? Could it be that someone who brought together these data in bad faith misled and used him? It is very much possible that Sarrazin will soon enlighten the public and disperse the fog surrounding him with a press statement or a new book. Till one question comes to mind. Perhaps Sarrazin will not take it up in his statements, but there is no harm in asking: Sarrazin is not a common or ordinary German surname. Will Sarrazin care to explain the origins of his name when he informs the public? It will be a lot easier than statistical manoeuvring.
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